Thursday, November 18, 2010

17th November,2010.

The day could have started off better! A near collision with a hearse, clearly on its way to a funeral, ( honestly not my fault), with my destination being the Nissan garage for my car's annual MOT inspection , generated a certain foreboding. Hitherto fully dormant pagan instincts emerged and I considered the possibility of this being a "sign" and the wrath of the Norse God of Death ( actually a Goddess named Hel who lives in the underworld of Niflheim ) being transmitted through the inspection results. All proved to be unfounded, but I think I would have preferred a black cat! Superstitious....not in the slightest!!

Due to this birding was a bit limited, so I did a bit of surfing whilst waiting for the MOT results. The recent report by RSPB Scotland on White-tailed Eagle (Sea Eagle) success in 2010 is extremely encouraging and shows the new Islay "colonists" to be part of an expanding vanguard. This season (2010) 46 young birds fledged, 10 more than in 2009, from 52 adult breeding pairs of birds, which, in itself, was 6 more than in 2009. All this , coupled with the previous results from a study in Wester Ross carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage, showing that the presence of such birds had a minimal impact on lamb stocks, augurs well for the future and the restoration of a species hunted to extinction in past times.

Less welcome was news of a successful prosecution from the Scottish Borders where an employee on the Leadhills Estate had been seen to lay out a dead Rabbit laced with carbufuran. This substance, on my understanding, was banned in 2001 and to discover its usage in the open environment is sheer lunacy given its toxicity to humans and animals alike. In many ways we have not progressed much beyond the attitudes which prevailed and brought the initial population of White-tailed Eagles to its knees!!

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